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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Early voting, including LC-M tax rate, begins Monday


Last updated 10/18/2022 at 5:02pm

Early voting for the November 8 general election will open Monday with local elections including a tax rate issue to raise the maintenance and operations rate 10.8 percent for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD.

Also for the first time in local history, people living in an Emergency Services District will vote for directors. Previously, Orange County Commissioners Court appointed directors for each of the four Emergency Services Districts in the county. Only residents in the cities of Orange, West Orange, and Pinehurst are not within an Emergency Services District.

The LC-M district is following the latest state law for a Voter Approved Tax Rate. The district's total tax rate, though will basically stay the same because the district has lowered the debt payments on bonds that were approved by voters a few years ago. Even though the total tax rate will remain close to the same as last year, people who had an increase in property values may pay more because of the increased values on their homes.

The voting is for the maintenance and operations fund, which pays for basic functions of the district like salaries, utility bills, insurance, and supplies. The debt service part of the tax covers the interest and payments on bond loans that were previously approved by voters. The district's calculations show the debt service will go down from 36 cents per $100 valuation to 30 cents per $100 valuation.

The ballot for voters in the district reads the new rate will be $1.34 cents per $100 valuation with a 10.8 percent maintenance and operations section tax increase. The ballot says the new rate will raise an additional $1.15 million for maintenance and operations. The district says that with the drop in the debt payment tax section, many property owners could pay less.

Emergency Services District in Orange County provide fire and rescue service. Some of them have paid staffs and also utilize volunteer firefighters, while others rely on volunteers. Each district has property taxes for people living within the district. ESD 3, which is for Little Cypress, also has a sales tax that was approved by voters.

Candidates filed with the Orange County Elections Administration Office this first year. Each district will elect five members at-large, with the five receiving the most votes winning positions. The ESDs do not follow county precinct lines.

ESD 1 is for residents in the city of Vidor and its outlying areas and has seven people running. Candidates are Jerry E. Aldridge, Gene Domec, Nelda Nash, Kenneth Luce, Larry C. Williams III, Wyatt Boyett, and John H. Houseman.

ESD 2 is for the city of Bridge City and its outlying areas including Orangefield. Six people filed to run. Candidates are Glen Childers Jr., Chris Landry, Wes Arnold, Aaron McNeil, Carroll LeBlanc, and Scott Barnes.

ESD 3 is the Little Cypress Fire and Rescue Department. Six candidates filed for the five positions. Candidates are Wayne LaCombe, Bobby Smith, Wesley Journeay, Corina Alonso, Cammie Manshack Vincent, and Cathy Drake.

ESD 4 covers the Mauriceville and McLewis areas. Only five people filed for the five positions. Candidates are Anthony Shue, Robert H. Hymes, Dan Brack, David Covey, and David Jones

Early voting will begin Monday, October 24. The hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday October 24 through Friday, Friday, October 28. On Saturday, October 29, early voting will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday voting on October 30 will be 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Then voting will begin again on Monday, October 31, through Friday, November 4, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Orange County's early voting sites for the November general election will be the Orange Public Library, Mauriceville Community Center, Orange County Airport, and Raymond Gould Community Center in Vidor.

Registered Orange County voters may go to any of the early voting sites to cast a ballot. On Election Day, they are required to go to their assigned voting box.

The ballots for the November 8 general election will also include a number of races for national, state, and county public offices. The election drawing the most attention in Texas is for governor as the Republican incumbent Greg Abbott faces Democratic challenger former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke.

Statewide redistricting last year moved Orange County from Congressional District 36 to District 14, represented by Republican Randy Weber, who is facing Democrat Mikal Williams.

Orange County's state representative, Republican Dade Phelan, who served as speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in the last legislative session, is running unopposed.

For State Senator District 3, which includes Orange County, Republican incumbent Robert Nichols is facing Democrat Steve Russell and Libertarian Desarae Lindsey.

The Orangefield school district was scheduled to have a board of trustees election, but was able to cancel the election because of no contested races.

Orange County has a number of Republican incumbents running unopposed that include 260th District Judge Steven Parkhurst, County Judge John Gothia, County Clerk Brandy Robertson, Treasurer Christy Khoury, Precinct 4 Commissioner Robert Viator, and the four justices of the peace, Herschel Stagner Jr. in Precinct 1, Chad Jenkins in Precinct 2, Joy Dubose Simonton in Precinct 3, and Rodney Price in Precinct 4.

Newcomers on the ballot running as unopposed Republicans are Chris Sowell for Precinct 2 county commissioner and Anne Reed for district clerk. They won their primary races after the incumbents in the seats announced they would retire on January 1 when the new terms begin.


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